US President Donald Trump has admitted his presidential term is ending and promised an "orderly transition on January 20th" a day after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the election.
"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," Trump said in a statement posted by his advisor, despite the fact that his claims of election fraud are unfounded.
Four people died after the mob broke into the Capitol while Congress met to certify Joe Biden's win including a woman among the protesters who was shot and three other people who suffered “medical emergencies” related to the breach, police said.
Lawmakers had been forced to flee the building and the Congressional session did not resume until some six hours after the protesters entered the building.
The protesters had dispersed by the evening as police used tear gas and percussion grenades to clear the grounds of the US Capitol. The mayor of Washington DC issued a 6:00pm curfew in the city.
The protesters had been at a rally in the city earlier in the day where they were egged on by President Donald Trump who urged supporters to march to the Capitol.
The US president has spent weeks claiming the election was fraudulent and being stolen by Democrats despite providing no evidence to support his claims. Now, Twitter and Facebook have temporarily blocked the US president after he continued to post false accusations about the election amid the violence.
When Congress reconvened its session, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said lawmakers would "not be intimidated" and called the event a "failed insurrection".
'Unprecedented assault on democracy'
"Our democracy is under unprecedented assault," said President-elect Joe Biden earlier on Wednesday as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.
"I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward,'' the president-elect said.
He also urged Trump to "go on national television now'' and ''demand an end to the siege.''
Shortly after Biden's speech, Trump released a video message calling supporters to "go home and go home in peace," while repeating false claims that the election was "stolen" from him.
Lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices as clashes erupted.
Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building.
Clashes followed a massive rally near the White House during which Trump egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.
But as tensions mounted at the capitol, Trump tweeted to supporters to "stay peaceful".
National Guard headed to Capitol
The White House said National Guard troops along with other federal protective services were deployed to help end the occupation.
A citywide curfew was called for in Washington DC shortly after dusk, as rioters continued to occupy the seat of Congress for hours.
The district's police chief said at least 13 people were arrested, and five firearms had been recovered during the pro-Trump protests on Wednesday.
Democrats denounce attempted 'Coup'
"What we are witnessing is an attempted coup directly incited by the criminal in the White House. It will fail," tweeted Democratic lawmaker William Pascrell.
The session started at 13:00 local time (19:00 CET) but was suspended 15 minutes later after objections over the results in Arizona — the third of the country's 50 states to announce its Electoral College count — were raised.
The session was expected to last into the night as Republican House members have said they would object to as many as six battleground states. Lawmakers from the House and Senate must debate each objection.
Outgoing President Donald Trump has alleged widespread fraud in the November 3 election but has failed to produce any evidence to support his claims. Republicans have attempted to overturn the results in several key states through the courts but been have been unsuccessful.
Democrat Biden, 78, won the Electoral College 306-232 and is to be inaugurated on January 20.
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